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McLaughlin: History of the American Nation 351 

lation and density, side by side. In that case the line between urban 
and rural population could be drawn on the basis, not of actual popula- 
tion, but of population to a unit of area. Dr. Weber's objection (p. 10) 
that in such a case a group of farmers' houses crowded together like a 
German Dorf would be classed as a city is sufficiently met, I think, by 
saying that the area of such a village apart from the farms would seldom, 
if ever, be given separately and hence its density of population could not 
be reported. If this is not a complete reply, it might be found best to 
define a city for statistical purposes, by stating both a minimum popula- 
tion and a minimum density, but I am disposed to believe that the more 
significant criterion is density. 

The great difficulty with all such statistical works as the present is 
that they are not strictly speaking books. A book is a work of art, it 
has unity and progress. The selection and rejection of material is 
guided by a consideration of the end which the material serves. That a 
man uses tables to further his argument in no wise relieves him from his 
obligations to his readers. On the contrary, he is all the more bound to 
grip and hold their attention, because his tables tend to shake it, in the 
same way that a lecturer who uses lantern illustrations may be less fin- 
ished and careful in his writing or speaking, because of the aid the pic- 
tures furnish him. Only a few statistical writings can stand such a test \ 
one thinks, for example, of certain speeches of Burke, or Gladstone, and 
The Growth of Cities is not of that class. It has not been fused into 
a whole. It presents the results of the writer's efforts to inform himself, 
not of his deliberate, persistent efforts to convince his readers. He does 
not carry his subject easily, but is a little oppressed by its magnitude and 
complexity. It is, however, a good compend, not a book, but a source of 
material; the facts regarding city growth have been carefully brought to- 
gether and the statistical statements may be fully trusted. 

Walter F. Willcox. 

A History of the American Nation. By Andrew C. McLaughlin, 

Professor of American History in the University of Michigan. 

[Twentieth Century Series.] (New York : D. Appleton and 

Co. 1899. Pp. xiv, 587.) 

The propriety of teaching American history in the final year of sec- 
ondary schools is winning rapid assent ; but until lately a serious hind- 
rance to the introduction of the study has been the lack of suitable 
manuals. A new high-school book, therefore, and from Professor Mc- 
Laughlin, is a notable event \ and its appearance just now derives added 
significance from the author's services as chairman of the Committee of 
Seven on the Study of History in Schools. Scholarship and ability to 
tell a story we have a right to count upon always in the maker of such a 
text, but rarely indeed can we expect that pedagogical considerations will 
be weighed under auspices so propitious. 

But after all a text-book is an evolution, and even from the best 



352 Reviews of Books 

equipped of pioneers ideal success is not to be demanded. Professor 
Channing's recent Students' History — by far the most important previous 
attempt in this field — with all its singular excellence, is felt by many in- 
structors to be too much a college book. The present volume probably 
inclines toward the other extreme. To be sure, as the Report of the 
Committee of Seven shows, Professor McLaughlin sees clearly that merely 
to repeat for twelfth-year students the old eighth-year work with a frac- 
tion more of information is not worth while, and that a high-school book 
should stand for a definite advance in point of view and scientific method, 
at whatever sacrifice of anecdote and distributed detail. But in execution 
the question is one of degree, and I can not but feel that upon the whole 
the conception of high-school work represented in this volume is unduly 
conservative. 

The accompanying Teachers' Guide, a helpful forty-page pamphlet, 
partially blunts this criticism, and at the same time it relieves the book 
from the pressure of pedagogical matter that otherwise would burden the 
pages. So disencumbered, and with the completeness of detail which 
perhaps militates against strictly text-book purposes, the work will appeal 
also to an audience outside the school-room as a welcome addition to our 
one- volume histories. 

From either aspect, the author's interest centres, and rightly, in the 
national period. This gives him a relative advantage over his chief com- 
petitor. Channing's masterly treatment of the earlier history will not 
easily be matched in any account of equal brevity, and it is fortunate in 
every way that Professor McLaughlin's strength lies in his chapters deal- 
ing with the present, and more important, century. Here we have three 
hundred pages, compact of sound scholarship and accurate statement, 
that make a distinct addition to our briefer historical narratives. The 
assertion (p. 281) that no French frigate had impressed our sailors is ot 
course an error, and to say that Hamilton " had in reality offered up his 
life for his country " (p. 268) is rather strained ; but even such venial slips 
are rare for this portion of the work. Chief stress, of set purpose, is 
laid upon political development, though territorial expansion and the 
growth of the West, with the reaction upon politics, receive due atten- 
tion. The influence of the author's special studies shows, pleasantly, in 
the reference to Cass as the father of the "popular sovereignty" doc- 
trine, and in the brief exculpation of the British of the Northwest posts 
from the charge of inciting savages against the American frontier in time 
of peace. Elsewhere, too, many current misapprehensions and prejudices 
are quietly corrected : the account of the West-Florida matter (p. 264) 
is a good case in point. Many scholars will feel that the belief of the 
South in the right of peaceable secession is made to appear too exclusively 
a latter-day product of Calhoun's teaching (pp. 410, 415), but, when 
we recall how little patience Professor McLaughlin has for those who 
would allow the Rebellion a technical basis in constitutional history, his 
treatment of the matter here seems at least studiously judicial. Generous 
tribute is paid the honesty and heroism of the South, and the contradic- 



McLaughlin: History of the American Nation 353 

tory phases of Reconstruction are set forth with admirable lucidity and 
fairness. I know no brief account of that intricate period so satisfactory. 
And this sturdy impartiality is characteristic of the book. No page is 
marred by slur or epithet, and foreign nations are treated with justice and 
generosity — all without abatement of virile Americanism. 

In colonial history we have no right to expect the same easy mastery, 
but one is constrained to regret the number and character of the errors. 
The discussion of political development in early New England is pecu- 
liarly unhappy. The use of " people ' ' for stockholders (p. 79), even be- 
fore the transfer of the 1629 charter, guarded as it is perhaps by the con- 
text, would be a trivial matter, did it not mislead in a particular where 
caution is most needed ; the attempt on the next page to clear up the 
relation of company and settlers does not clarify, and the implication in 
the use of "people" this time is seriously objectionable, considering 
that not a score of the thousand inhabitants had then any political power. 
On the following page (p. 81) the too prevalent misconception that the 
assistants' assumption of power in 1630 was due to the difficulty of 
bringing together a large number of scattered freemen obscures all the 
vital facts. The date 1633, on page 82, is, of course, a misprint for 
1632. A little further on, in tracing the political development of Con- 
necticut (pp. 88, 89), the older idea that the Fundamental Orders had 
peculiar federal characteristics effectually conceals the real significance of 
that document as an evolution from the written and unwritten practice in 
the mother colony. Similar indications of haste creep into other parts of 
the colonial story. The suggestion of despotic character throughout 
the account of Baltimore's charter (pp. 56, 57) is hard measure for the 
first royal patent that in any way contemplated representative assemblies 
in America, or any kind of self-government by the settlers ; and the con- 
trast drawn between it and the charter to Penn (p. 113), with the context, 
gives the student a distorted perspective. In the survey of pre- 
Revolutionary conditions, too, a book of this kind, surely, might aban- 
don the traditional view to a greater degree for that of the recent scientific 
study of England's colonial policy — if only as a meet introduction to our 
own subsequent policy in our territories. Not least objectionable in this 
regard are some of the passages apparently most carefully qualified ; the 
admission regarding England's commercial policy in comparison with 
Spain's (p. 173) is too colorless to combat the erroneous impressions 
that nine out of ten students bring with them. Even the more mechan- 
ical features give evidence of relative neglect in this part of the book. 
The footnote extracts from various authorities, and the quotations woven 
— very effectively — into the body of the story, too often have no authority 
indicated ; while unlicensed modifications appear in what wear the face 
of direct quotations. Thus (p. 46) the passages from the Planters' 1 
Declaration in 1623 regarding Yeardley's proclamation of 1619, will 
look to the student, especially with the changes in pronouns and tenses, 
as if intended for a part of the proclamation itself. Of course, there are 
many features of special excellence, like the fine treatment of the Quaker 



354 Reviews of Books 

influence (pp. 107-110), but, on the whole, it is plain that these chap- 
ters have not received the author's critical attention. Happily, the book 
can justify itself without them. 

The style is always simple and direct, and — despite the extreme com- 
pression and consequent occasional suppression of needed transitions — 
not without charm. Much of this necessary compression is accomplished 
with utmost skill (though it is provoking, when a single line more now 
and then would focus some important consideration that is left indistinct, 
to see five lines go to the probable time and place of the birth of Co- 
lumbus). A page suffices for the inter-colonial wars down to the final 
struggle, and probably a like sacrifice of military detail, or else a more 
scientific study of selected campaigns, might with profit have marked 
the treatment of other wars. The two-page summary of strategic con- 
ditions and problems in 1861 is admirable, but the skeleton campaigns 
that strew the next forty pages contain little not as vainly attempted in 
more elementary books. They have too little substance to be of value 
in themselves, and too much if their purpose is to illuminate political 
movements. Such a volume, it would seem, should either study strategy 
or let it alone. One more criticism, and a serious one, concerns the 
plan of arrangement. The preface and the table of contents promise a 
reasonable degree of grouping by topics, and the condensation of the 
narrative requires it ; but, though the author has apparently designed a 
compromise, in practice he never permits the logical sequence of events 
to impair the sanctity of intact presidential administrations. The re- 
sulting repetition adds no emphasis ; it blurs. 

It should be added that the illustrative material is abundant and of 
greater interest and value than that in any similar work. The eighty 
maps and tables and half of the hundred illustrations could hardly be 
bettered. The common-place pictures of public men, comprising the 
other half, lack any indication of their source, but are otherwise as good 
— and as bad — as text -books usually give. A conspicuous merit in me- 
chanical make-up is the good taste in indicating a change of subject by 
effective marginal catch -words instead of by startling and defacing black- 
cap headings of paragraphs. 

W. M. West. 

Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies, 
1681—1685. Edited by the Hon. J. W. Fortescue. (London : 
Eyre and Spottiswoode. 1898. Pp. lv, 828.) 
The records contained in this volume of the Calendar cover a period 
in which England had decided upon a more resolute policy toward the 
American colonies than she had hitherto pursued. This course was 
prompted by a clearer recognition of the rapid growth in their wealth 
and population. It would be difficult to say which was the more eager 
to enjoy the benefit of this growth — the English Exchequer, or the Eng- 
lish shopkeeper. Both looked upon the colonial opposition to being 
fleeced as the unreasonableness of refractory, or the disloyalty of rebel-